Steve Wilton re-elected to Forest Levy board

28 October 2015

Steve Wilton has been re-elected to the Forest Growers Levy Trust board as a representative of growers of small plantation forests.

He was challenged by Guy Farman who, like Mr Wilton, is based in the Wairarapa. Two hundred and five valid votes were cast in the on-line election which was conducted by Research NZ on behalf of the Trust. The result was: Steve Wilton, 158 votes; Guy Farman, 47 votes.

Trust chair Geoff Thompson, congratulated Mr Wilton on his success and thanked Mr Farman for putting his name forward.

Mr Thompson says votes in the election were audited by Research NZ, to ensure that those who voted were eligible to do so. Two votes cast by individuals who did not have the required minimum area of forest were disallowed.

"We have what we believe to be a rigorous process for ensuring the integrity of on-line voting," he says. "On-line elections are more cost-effective and for most voters more convenient than traditional paper-based voting."

This was the first board election since a commodity levy was applied to harvested plantation logs in January 2014. Three of the six elected board members stepped down this year after only one year in office – two representing owners of larger forests and one representing owners of smaller forests. All three stood for re-election. The two large forest candidates were declared re-elected as they were the only candidates in their category.

In the future board elections will be held every second year when three members will step down after a four-year term.

Mr Wilton now rejoins Ian Jackson on the trust as a representative of owners of forests of between 4 and 1000 hectares. The representatives of owners of forests larger than 1000 hectares are David Balfour, Bill McCallum, Paul Nicholls and Phil Taylor. The Trust chair is an independent, appointed by the elected board members.

For more information about the activities of the Trust and the official report on the election, visit


Source: Forest Growers Levy Trust media release. For more information, contact Geoff Thompson, Tel 027 445 3455